Labour organiser James Cunningham picked for West Bromwich West

Another one of the party’s community organisers has been selected for a Labour-held seat, as James Cunningham was picked to replace retiring Adrian Bailey in West Bromwich West on Saturday.

Cunningham is thought to be a former member of the Trotskyist group Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) who became a prominent activist in Momentum South Birmingham and later took a job with Labour.

His selection has attracted some controversy, with local members criticising his alleged AWL links as well as the fact that two community organisers have now been chosen for highly sought-after West Midlands seats by selection panels.

Following the result, Birmingham councillor Nicky Brennan tweeted: “Today I had a shortlisting interview for West Brom West. I got lovely positive feedback about how good my interview was and how great I came across but they gave it to a man that worked for WM Regional office as a ‘community organiser’.”

She added: “I’m taking my interview experience as a positive, it’s lovely to just get shortlisted and have good feedback. Least I’ll never have to look back at my positions in the party and think I was given them as someone’s mate”.

LabourList has been told that Cunningham is the subject of a number of outstanding complaints made to the Labour Party. A complaint about bullying from 2018 alleged that his behaviour as an organiser affected the mental health of a Labour candidate.

Another was submitted by Jenny Nolan, who says she has had no response to her complaint. She compared the situation to that in Bassetlaw, where a candidate was barred from standing on the basis of having unresolved complaints against her.

It is understood that these complaints were not considered to be serious enough to reach the threshold for a potential breach of Labour Party rules.

The Labour Party did not offer comment when approached.

More from LabourList